I am not sure if everyone feels the same way or if they had a better perspective on reality but when I finished university I expected everything to fall in to place. I thought I would get the career that I had always dreamed of, I would be earning the money I had always wanted to and I assumed that I would be able to make those stereotypical steps in to adulthood (moving out etcetera).
After graduating in July 2015 I continued my job in River Island for a few more months and in September that year I luckily landed a full-time position within a Superdry store. I was there for over a year and am now currently working in a London store part-time while I am doing an internship in digital media and marketing.
The teams that I have worked with during my retail life have been amazing, it can be incredibly hard work and they do not get enough credit for all that they do. I know for a fact that I have made some life-long friends and have gained some incredible skills from working for these brands.
While it may not have seemed completely relevant for what I wanted to do, there are always opportunities to take and lessons to learn. I feel that I have gained so much more knowledge about all sorts of aspects since working for them, such as: brand awareness, marketing campaigns, customer interaction… the list really does go on and on and on.
The only problem was that I stopped writing. I enjoyed what I was doing but I didn’t love it as much as I loved writing. It was a passion that, after I hadn’t done it for so long, I had forgotten how good and natural it felt.
I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that people wouldn’t be interested in what I wrote because I was a nobody… I had failed because I hadn’t got the job I had always dreamed of straight away or hadn’t even attempted to do anything about it.
I felt embarrassed because I compared myself to some of my friends who all seemed to be doing much better because they had landed their dream jobs straight after graduation or were moving in with their boyfriends to exciting cities. Some people I knew from school had children or were getting engaged! Lots of my close friends and family members were encouraging me to start writing again and to do the things that I once loved.
Once I was lucky enough to land myself an internship through a connection with a mutual friend, I started to write again! It felt like my mind was racing all of the time, exploding with ideas. I frequently had to get out a notepad just to write them all down before I had forgotten them! It really did feel like the best feeling.
The lesson to be learned here is while you may not be where you thought you would be in life, it doesn’t necessarily make you a failure. You need to focus on what makes you happy! If you don’t know what you want to do yet, that’s fine. Just put your heart and soul in to the things you enjoy and try hard.
My mother is almost 45 and is in her third year in university now, training to be a midwife! She is proof that anyone at any age can do whatever they want to if they put their mind to it. It is such hard work, especially with a ten year old son, but she manages because midwifery is her passion. She loves working with women and she loves life, so she combined the two to help women bring life in to the world! She makes me so proud and I live everyday hoping that I can do the same thing for her.
I think that a lot of what we do is down to confidence and the faith that we have in ourselves. If you don’t put yourself out there and at least try, you will never know. So it is always worth a shot. If you are rejected, pick yourself back up and try again. If it is your true passion and what you enjoy, you will persist.
It is never too late to realise what your passion is and you should not compare yourself to others. Everyone is different! That is the main lesson here. Just because someone is earning more money than you or is settling down before you, it doesn’t make them better than you etcetera. You are your own person and you should feel proud of who you are.
I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. I’m not necessarily saying this in terms of faith, although I think that it is brilliant that some people do. I just think that we should take whatever we get thrown at us in our stride. We learn lessons from everyday life and, so what if it isn’t necessarily what we wanted to do with our lives? Or if we don’t know what we want to with our lives? If we are enjoying it now, then why does it matter? Aim to be happy and do what you enjoy – the rest will follow!
We mostly regret the things that we did not do or did not say, so do it all and be honest to the ones you love. Surely it’s better to know than to wonder ‘what if?’. You don’t know that those things that you are about to do or say, they could change your life for the better forever. You may discover a hidden talent or come up with a fantastic idea and realise that you want to make a career out of that. I know that it is very cringey to say but you do only live once. You need to make the most of it and enjoy it.
Do not worry about what you do not have but focus on the positives and what you do have. Life is not a competition. Everybody goes down different roads and different paths. There are different levels of success! You can be successful in one element of your life, and not another. Who is to judge anyway? It is not like anyone has the right to tell you that you are doing life ‘wrong’… As long as you are happy and content, that is all that matters.
I honestly believe that it is all about compromise and I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to be great at absolutely everything. We need to love ourselves for our weaknesses as well as our strengths and find others who love us in spite of those weaknesses too! Live everyday in the now, enjoy every moment and surround yourself with people and do hobbies that make you happy. Do not judge yourself and do not involve yourself with others that judge you.
I don’t think that I am the best writer and I have a lot to learn. I am doing a six month internship and am already a month in – who knows if I will be lucky enough to continue working for them? However much I would love them to take me on, I will always see the positives of the experience as it has helped me to develop my ideas and gain confidence, regardless of whether I land a position.
I have learnt that everything in my life will teach me valuable lessons for whatever chapter I go on to next. That is okay. I will make the most of every opportunity and try to be as positive about things in my life as I can, no matter what path I go down because I am different. We are ALL different.